Virginia Beach Seizes "Obscene" Abercrombie Posters

This weekend, Virginia Beach police commandeered giant photographs in a local Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store. City Code Section 22.31, makes it a crime to display “obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles.” One of the pictures shows several bare-chested boys running through a field wearing jeans. The one in the font’s jeans are at half-mast, exposing a substantial portion of his dime slot. The store had been asked to take the photographs down several times before but didn’t comply. Is showing a kid’s butt crack in a larger-than-life-sized picture a bit strange? Yes. Obscene? We’re not sure, but Virginia Beach, the city that tried to ban public cursing, is.

Virginia Beach police seize photos from Abercrombie store [Hampton Roads] (Thanks to Pat and Zakarth!)

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  1. friendlynerd says:

    So when are they going to Victoria’s Secret and taking down their shit?

    Seems a little gay-hate-motivated, cause let’s face it – A&F is more than a little gay.

  2. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    As a Hampton Roads resident, I will say Myra Obendorf (mayor of VB) is insane. Not hard to believe she used to be a kindergarten teacher. It is sad/hysterical going to the beach and seeing the no profanity signs.

  3. nursetim says:

    Sounds like Virginia Beach has zero crime, since the city is even bothering with this. Government sucks sometimes.

  4. MeOhMy says:

    It doesn’t help Abercrombie’s cause that their “catalog” is legendary for the lack of clothing in it.

    The irony to me is that for whatever reason, baby’s bare asses are socially acceptable while some dude showing plumber’s crack is a tragedy.

  5. no.no.notorious says:

    it depends how old the boys are in the picture.

    to me, they barely look 18

  6. Spyrojoe says:

    I hate censorship as much as the next guy, but since I hate A&F more, I’m on board.

    I can see those annoying kids that work there getting all pissy about it. “Dude, bra… don’t take our posters. Seriously, weak dude.”

  7. Joey B says:

    I’m just wondering why they bother putting any women in the pictures.

  8. consumersruule says:

    It’s hotter than most porn I see so that might qualify it as obscene.

  9. ptkdude says:

    I can’t specify what “obscene” is, but I know it when I see it. .

    Quite frankly, this isn’t obscene. Inappropriate? Yes. But certainly not obscene.

  10. jrdnjstn78 says:

    @friendlynerd:

    Juveniles don’t frequent Victoria’s Secret as much as they do Abercrombie & Fitch.

    I don’t know, looks like the guy is slowly stripping off his clothes.

  11. DoubleEcho says:

    Anyone notice there’s what seems to be a naked woman on the left side of that picture? It looks like our 3 boys just got done taking turns with dear old Daisy there.

  12. TexasScout says:

    I have never understood the premise of using naked people to advertise a clothing store.

  13. forgottenpassword says:

    I have heard that what is considered obscene is determined by community standards & are quite subjective. One community’s “obscenity laws” can differ greatly from another’s. The only time they seem to be brought out to use on borderline cases (such as this) is when some miserably uptight local government SOB (or a church group/leader) wants to get something done about what they THINK is obscene to them personally. Or when you piss off a cop & he looks for creative ways (in the law) to find something to charge you with.

    We have some local nutjob church groups in league with local government officials in Kansas & missouri attempting to get rid of all so called “smutshops” that they dont particularly approve of.

  14. man-or-llama says:

    @jrdnjstn78: Do you go to the same mall as I? When I frequent a Victoria’s Secret, it’s usually full of 15/16 year old girls. (Pretty much the same age range at A&F – but I couldn’t say for sure. The cologne scent they pump out fills the the area to the point of vomit-inducing so I’ve never actually been in one.)

  15. harumph says:

    this from the city that passed an ordinance banning any drinking of alcohol outdoors, including your own backyard.

  16. utensil42 says:

    To be deemed obscene something has to be completely devoid of “scientific, political, educational, or social value.” So says the Supreme Court. I imagine you could argue this has social value.

  17. friendlynerd says:

    @jrdnjstn78:

    Maybe there are fewer 14 year old girls wearing too-tight sweatpants with PINK emblazoned on the ass where you live. There are quite a few here.

  18. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I have a good friend who is a child molester and he says A&F is the best place to pick up young teenage boys who were certifiably straight but started to experience gay fantasies after they saw these photos.

  19. savvy999 says:

    The question is, when summer rolls around, will the VB Obscenity Squad patrol the actual beaches?

    I’ve been to VB, and the flesh display is wayyyyyyyy worse than anything on that billboard.

  20. econobiker says:

    Depends. If the cops pulled you over with this picture in your car and can send you to jail for underage porn then they need to pull the posters…

  21. DeltaPurser says:

    European, born and raised, I’ve seen stuff MUCH, MUCH more seductive than this without raising an eyebrow… This action, to me, shouts hypocritical, religious, prude BS!

    What is so offensive in seeing a part of this guy’s crack?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  22. hypnotik_jello says:

    Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts, that’s their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmm… Sounds like…every commercial on television, doesn’t it? You know, when I see those two twins on that Doublemint commercial? I’m not thinking of gum. I am thinking of chewing, so maybe that’s the connection they’re trying to make. – Bill Hicks

  23. BlondeGrlz says:

    @harumph: If that’s true, it’s not enforced. There are plenty of bars/restaurants that serve outdoors, you just can’t leave the property. VA Beach wants to market itself as family friendly fun, but these days the kids on the beach are waaaaay more naked that the guys in that picture. Now get off my lawn.

  24. DeltaPurser says:

    @econobiker: But it’s not porn, is it?!?! What, by your definition, constitutes porn?! Seeing a part of a butt crack ir PORN?!?!

  25. DeltaPurser says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: You, definitely, need new friends…

  26. HOP says:

    gee,the vb people oughta get a life………

  27. Tonguetied says:

    I’ve heard that Virginia Beach is a pretty straitlaced place. I think they do have beach patrols and don’t allow thong bikinis.

    I wonder how much the naked woman on the left side of the picture had to do with the decision to classify it as obscene?

  28. ninjatales says:

    How come the dude’s not wearing any underwear? Or has he readied himself for some action with the boys?

  29. SkyeBlue says:

    The so called “indigineous” nudity they had on the Travel Channel last night was alot worse than that pic for A&F! Everyone, even the children were walking around naked. Aren’t there standards for that? I haven’t quite figured out why it is OK to show naked people on TV or in magazines, etc, as long as they aren’t NAKED WHITE people.

    Personally I find the constant and bloody gory violence on TV alot more offensive than seeing a bit of nudity. One isn’t really much better than the other but the violence is more upsetting.

  30. ARP says:

    Why don’t they apply the same standard to their beaches? Oh that’s right, because they’d lose all their tourist money. So, they’re all for morality, but when it impacts their bottom line, then they look the other way.

    It’s funny, this whole thing is sort of contrived. Evangelicals get their panties in a bunch, they get lots of money and support from their wingnuts to stop the immorality. A&F gets all sorts of publicity about the controversy and more teens come in because it’s “forbidden.” A&F can wrap themselves in the flag and talk about “free speech” when they really only care about generating more publicity and more money.

    FYI- I’m on A&F’s side here-regardless of their motive. I don’t think this is considered obsene under SCOTU decisions which use a community standards approach and a reasonable person safety net.

  31. Feminist Whore says:

    I think Virginia Beach’s real motivation in demanding the removal of these posters was to curb the possibility that other, uglier, men would think it’s the latest fashion and start bearing their own butt-cleavage.

  32. smoothtom says:

    You think these kids look under 18? Go take a look at some kids who are ACTUALLY in high school and not actors in crappy TV shows targeted to high school kids. Actual high school kids look like babies, slightly doughy, definitely not chiseled.

  33. Buran says:

    I can’t sympathize with them over this because they were asked to take it down. Multiple times. You can’t just ignore that sort of thing without going to court to get an injunction; there are channels. A&F thinks the law doesn’t apply to them. A&F is wrong.

    It’s OK to disagree with a law but just ignoring it gets you charged instead of making it go away.

  34. Aladdyn says:

    you can see some sort of wrinkled fabric suggesting shes wearing maybe short-shorts. with the shading you cant tell if shes wearing a top or not. I guess if you interpreted the picture as a depiction of three boys finishing a sexual encounter with the girl then It could be obscene but thats reading a bit into it. just the crack itself is hardly obscene.

    The last time i was at virginia beach there were rough waves that were breaking at about knee to waist height. The lifegaurds were freaking out on anyone who went out further than thigh height. So in essence you had to stand in the breaking waves of a rough surf. Not really sure what their plan was but seemed stupid to me.

  35. IrisMR says:

    It’s virginia beach. I’m not surprised.

    It wasn’t obscene. The law is too vague, they shouldn’t have applied it. The level of “obsenity” varies from one to another.

    For instance, I think that every toys r us displaying Pokemon toys should be shut down. I’m offended by them.

  36. harumph says:

    @Buran: just because some prude walks into your store and asks you to take something down does not oblige you to do so. i used to live in virginia and the numbers of prudish evangelicals is off the charts. if i owned the store i’d tell them to go fuck themselves.

  37. dlmccaslin says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: “I have a good friend who is a child molester…”

    I don’t know how many stories I’ve tarted with this exact same line.

    Ahh, memories…

  38. qwickone says:

    @jrdnjstn78: While I agree there are young girls in there ALL the time, ANYONE can see the posters when they walk by the store and it’s in a mall that juveniles frequent.

  39. qwickone says:

    @no.no.notorious: so they’re probably 13. That’s how models work…

  40. GearheadGeek says:

    @Buran: I’d guess that it was a calculated move, actually. Corporate legal weasels got together with the PR types and decided it would look better if the city forced the removal of their marketing images, then A&F would appear to be the aggrieved party in the press on the issue.

  41. bohemian says:

    There were a bunch of people who tried this against a Victoria’s Secret store in Indianapolis last year. It was the OMG think of the children ploy.

    We have religious nuts around here trying to shut down Lodgenet (they provide in room entertainment for hotels – games, movies etc), jack the tax on booze 300% and super restrict adult stores.

    I like the idea of rounding up all these people and forcing them to live just with each other somewhere so they will quit bothering everyone else and they can start taking out their frustrations on each other.

  42. Gloria says:

    @smoothtom: Yes, thank you. Take a look at your local high school one of these days. The kids look like your idea of 13.

  43. MissPeacock says:

    @bohemian: I think that several years ago in my town (Birmingham, AL), people successfully lobbied to have one of our local VS stores put their posters more toward the inside of the store so that children/impressionable adults could not see them as they walked by.

  44. sljgold says:

    I don’t think it’s that they’re boys that caused the problem but rather that the models seem too young. A&F has gotten in trouble for risque shots of teens in the past and they’re also the ones who first started marketing thongs to eight year olds; you’d think they’d pull back a touch from the borderline images of teenagers. Idiotic as Virginia Beach tends to be, I can’t fault them for taking down the signs when there’s a teenage ass hanging out and the store had refused point blank to do it themselves.

  45. econobiker says:

    @DeltaPurser: It is not my definition of porn, but the arresting officer’s and district attorny’s definition of porn that matters. Once you are arrested you have to prove that you are innocent to the government employees whose jobs are to prove you guilty. They do not pay for your lawyer if you have financial means to do so…

  46. machete_bear says:

    I’m torn between my hatred of unreasonable censorship, and my hatred of A&F, Hollister, and basically any teenage shit-eater who thinks that shopping there makes them better than anyone else.

  47. CharlieSeattle says:

    We are talking about the same state where some municipalities tried to find people for posting political signs on their own private property, until the ACLU sent them a very strongly worded letter, siting massive amounts of case law as to why it would be unwise to try to enforce these ordinances.

  48. DeltaPurser says:

    Would somebody please put out a memo letting people know that by wearing an AF shirt does NOT, I repeat NOT, make you look like one of their models… I’m amazed at the uglies who put on this stuff and then strutt around thinking they look good… Truth is, if you’re size 36 and over, you should NOT be shopping there. Period.

  49. Denada says:

    @machete_bear: Wow. Someone needs to ease down a bit.

  50. Anonymous says:

    This sounds to me like a classic example of states rights…If the residents of VA Beach don’t like the prude police, vote em out. Otherwise, let them pass all the laws they want; heck, I’d vote in favor of outlawing A&F all together just to raise the IQ of the average mall shopper.

  51. jamesdenver says:

    @friendlynerd:

    Their new store design makes the stores akin to a gay club. No windows, two turns to enter the place, dim lighting, and the permeating smell of A&F cologne – which is as bad as axe.

  52. Buran says:

    @harumph: You’d be right (and I’d agree) if it was anyone but the government enforcing a statute. But, just like trash dude, you break the law, you suffer the consequences.

  53. Buran says:

    @GearheadGeek: Correct that to “looks like idiots for thinking they’re above the law” … why anyone would want to look like that with all the controversy lately about the feds, who are supposed to be responsible for enforcement, doing such things is beyond me.

  54. TangDrinker says:

    The Urban Outfitters in the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte is facing similar issues with their “racy” book displays. I believe the police have even been called.

    Glad to know they’re thinking of “the children.”

  55. deadlizard says:

    I’m glad how that national mecca of tourism that is Virginia Beach
    and the area called the “Hampton Roads” is keeping my children safe
    from the depravation of these infidels. Now the next step is closing
    Hooters.

  56. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @deadlizard: it’s just Hampton Roads.

    I guess an eariler comment of mine got eaten.

    There was supposed to be a porn convention at one of the beach hotels not too long ago. Good ol’ Myra stepped in and nixed that. Thankfully those awful sex people were kept away.

    There is a large military population, if they tried to get rid of the Hooters around here, there would be another war.

  57. Project Thanatos says:

    Nanny state lol

  58. deadlizard says:

    @savvy999: With all the fat people in Virginia Beach is also not the kind of flesh you want to see around.

  59. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @deadlizard: tattoed fat people no less.

  60. Keter says:

    FWIW, they look like kids getting ready to jump into a pond for some skinny dipping (how many kids these days have the context necessary to make that connection? — that ad is targeting adults). That it’s co-ed definitely makes it suggestive. Pornographic? Probably not. Poor taste? ABSOLUTELY. Should a city be allowed to control what’s on display on private property? Iffy, and not a precedent I’d like to see set on something this borderline. If it had been FFN or an obvious act in progress, for sure…that has no business being displayed in a public area. This is not a “protect the children” issue so much as it is setting standards of public decency……OMG, I actually said PUBLIC DECENCY! Yes, such a thing once existed, and it can again! Go Virginia Beach, but don’t go overboard. ;o)

  61. mikelotus says:

    @ninjatales: wearing underwear is a requirement in your part of the sticks?

  62. stinkingbob says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with the poster. Heck, if you turn on the tv you will see more skin that in that ad!
    Besides, I think its about time women get some eye candy to look at. All the ads feature women and are men orientated.

  63. shadow735 says:

    who cares unless your on of those extreme bible toters and if you are why are they not focusing on all the chick adds with nipples almost popping out the bra and their booty hanging out waiting for a pinch. Not that I am complaining but then again I am a guy and I dont tote around a bible looking for targets to get rightously upset about.

  64. bbbici says:

    You got a perty mouth, boy.

  65. akronharry says:

    While I don’t shop at A&F (too old), people need to get a life and work on real issues out there. I am sure the folks at A&F are cheering about all of this ( and I do not blame them) because we all know that the kids are going to go to their stores and buy their stuff because “they are cool”. You can’t pay for this type of advertising. Buy their stock. It’s down 3 points today as of this writing.

  66. frogpelt says:

    I find it strange that Abercrombie can sell clothes by using models that don’t wear any.

    Why would I need to shop there if being naked is so cool?

  67. uricmu says:

    @utensil42: Under that definition, VH1 is obscene.

  68. My read on this ad is that as Keter says, they’re about to go skinny dipping. The ephemeral female presence on the side works both to entice straight men (i.e. “Dude, is she naked?”) and to soften the incredible homoeroticism of the ad. Gay men can crop out the girl easily, straight men can fixate on her and everyone in between can stare at the crack without feeling like they’re dirty perverts.

    Do women find this sort of thing hot? I’ve always wondered.

  69. themarkpike says:

    As a Virginia Beach native who spent hundreds of weekends at Lynnhaven Mall, I feel qualified to say that this is yet another ridiculous example of local puritans subjecting the rest of the community to their crazy standards.

    Check out the link below for a brief legal history of Virginia Beach’s mission to become a “family-friendly” destination, at the expense of the First Amendment.

    [www.wm.edu]

  70. shadow735 says:

    Wait Americans still have rights? I thought the Bush administration took care of those.

  71. teapartys_over says:

    @Buran: Yes but the statute doesn’t sound very clear about what is “obscene”, so it would be hard to know whether you were breaking the law. And it seems like if the cops were telling you to take it down, they’d have to have a decent definition of what exactly is illegal under the statute. 1″ of male crack not OK? How about frontal, clothed, but maybe looked like he had a large penis? How about a woman’s ass cheeks or cleavage? (all over Victoria’s secret, obvs).

  72. ecwis says:

    I find this interesting. Just look at European nations such as France. They have completely nude advertisements on the street in Paris. Yet, Americans are scared of seeing a man’s “upper buttocks”…

  73. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I’ll bet anything that all the “citizen complaints” came from the right-wing nutjobs at Pat Robertson’s tax exempt cash cow!

  74. ecwis says:

    @teapartys_over: It says the prohibited material is “Any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to juveniles…”

    So it must be harmful to juveniles? I doubt that they could prove that case.

  75. ecwis says:

    @teapartys_over: And in order for it to be “harmful to juveniles”, it must fulfill the following criteria:

    (1) Predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of juveniles;
    (2) Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community in the city as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for juveniles; and
    (3) Is, when taken as a whole, lacking in serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for juveniles.

  76. XTC46 says:

    the obscenity is the implied three-some about to occur. There are 3 guys stripping, and a naked girl running. I hate a&f but I still think its retarded to not let them post stuff in their own store.

  77. Benstein says:

    It isn’t a gay thing, it is an underage thing. This picture isn’t too bad but taking provocative pictures of underage people is a slippery slope.

  78. friendlynerd says:

    @Benstein:

    Do you have copies of their DLs? How the hell do you know how old they are?

    And with a national chain that displays the same shit in every store, do you really think it was the Virginia Beach police that finally cracked the case of the underage A&F model?

  79. smoothtom says:

    @Benstein: Once again … those dudes don’t look REMOTELY like they are 17 or under. If 17 year olds look like that, we really need to get the growth hormones out of the milk.

  80. jamesdenver says:

    @ecwis:

    Agree. There’s a park in Munich where people (guys and girls) lay out naked to get some sun. We went there and “did as the locals do.”

    It’s not considered the least bit perverse, wrong, or shocking. In fact a few paths circle the area less than 200 feet away, and parents with kids cycled and walked through going about their business – no one shreiking in horror or calling the local newsbusters teams as such activity.

    Definitely a different outlook…

  81. jeffjohnvol says:

    LOL, only girley men and MABLA shop there. A real man wouldn’t be caught dead there.

  82. Parting says:

    Cute guys, I don’t see the problem. You can see fat cracks at local garage. That’s repulsive. Now this is a fairly benign picture, compared to so much ”sexual” advertising out there.

  83. Parting says:

    @Benstein: Underage guys aren’t that well built. It takes years of training (and sometimes some chemo crap) to get this ripped. Next time, when you’re on a beach, look around. Even 17 year old guys that are trying, are unable to get this type of body.

  84. Parting says:

    [www.flickr.com]

    This community is nuts. I suddenly have an urge to spray paint the word fcuk on this sign :)

  85. takotchi says:

    Welcome to the foreign country where I live, known as Hampton Roads… where there is no concept of free speech or the first amendment.

  86. isntsean says:

    I have lived in VB all my life and its things like this that give our city and community a bad rap on a national stage. For being such a large metropolitan are, I see more negative and quirky pieces coming out of our area than anything else. I hope this specific event is just one cop on a mission rather then something that will continue and continue to put a bad face on our community.

  87. shadow735 says:

    Hey if I was built like that I would be running around naked too!

  88. Trai_Dep says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: yeah, cuz all it takes to turn a guy from straight to gay is a b/w picture of a shirtless guy…

    It’s pretty impressive that you manage to press keys while completely bypassing your brain.

    And exactly HOW many of your friends are child molesters?!

  89. Trai_Dep says:

    Someone better tell the VA Beach granny-lady that – gasp – the Smurfs are shirtless, too. And living – gasp gasp – in SIN!

    Out of curiosity, is Harry Potter banned there too? Darwin?

  90. Saboth says:

    @no.no.notorious:

    Somehow, I don’t think people are getting turned on by 1/4″ of butt crack. Go down about 2-3 more inches and we can start talking about porno. As for VA police…I am ashamed to say I live in VA. We have no gambling, no real strip clubs, they have tried to pass laws telling you how to wear your pants, and laws banning plastic “truck nuts” on your cars. We aren’t allowed to display neon lights on our cars, and I believe it is still technically illegal to perform sodomy (could be wrong on that one). Nanny state yes.

  91. ethanrik says:

    Hey are the police gonna auction off those posters….I’ll buy em! =)~

  92. akalish says:

    You’d think that A&F would follow the example set by Victoria Secret in NYC–when VS started moving into an Upper West Side retail space people protested their traditional window displays because it’s very much a family neighborhood. VS got a lot of loyalty by commiting to more modest window displays–robes and pjs and stuff like that. Were the posters that were taken down from inside the store or in the windows? A&F should just keep it clean in more suburban areas. They’re not going to make money by angering local parents. You get more flies with honey than with vinegar (or something like that).

  93. tk427 says:

    @harumph:
    You took the words right out of my mouth. If I owned (or managed) a business and some random cop walked up to me and told me “That picture is obscene and a violation of city code #whatever.” I would answer with “I don’t believe that it’s obscene. Show me a court order signed by a judge.”

    Va Bch is a nice place to visit but I’ll never live there again. Fucking blue laws.

  94. rdm24 says:

    @Keter:

    Keter, if this is “borderline”, then maybe we should be routing that fence with Mexico through Saint Louis.

  95. rdm24 says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: J’accuse. Liar.

  96. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    Hot poster! I don’t think that it’s obscene, but I do think that A and F should have shown better judgement than to put up a picture like this one with all its sexual implications in a store that targets young teens. It’s not as though any of the teens care (there’s worse stuff all over TV and the internet), but the parents that fork over the dough for all the ripped jeans could have problems with seeing a guy’s bum crack plastered on the wall.

  97. clankboomsteam says:

    God, I hate Conservative America. Abercrombie & Fitch sucks, and only a douche would wear their overpriced crap, but there’s nothing remotely obscene bout that image.

  98. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Jesus, Virginia Beach would be a rough place to be a plumber…..

  99. smbfl says:

    @Akalish – You couldn’t be further off on that one. Abercrombie markets to teens and young adults who, by their very nature, want what their parents don’t want them to have. Many of these kids buy their own clothes (even if they do use Mommas money to do it) and the rest of them wil b*&^% and moan until they get what they want. Something like this happening is the best advertising Abercrombie could possibly get.

  100. spinachdip says:

    @jrdnjstn78: You realize VS has an entire line that targets juveniles? I know, I know, PINK is ostensibly targeted at college students, but anyone who’s done marketing knows underaged consumers aspire older, i.e. they’re drawn to products and messages that they think is targeted to an older audience.

  101. RvLeshrac says:

    @no.no.notorious:
    @friendlynerd:
    @Benstein:
    @Keter:

    Shut up, shut up, shut up.
    If you’re against the first amendment, haul your sorry asses off to Syria, China, Cuba, Singapore, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or any of the other countries that tell you exactly what you will and will not find decent, indecent, appropriate, and inappropriate.

    The one thing I feel you don’t have the right to speak out against in this country is the First Amendment. There’s a reason it stands above the rest of the Constitution. You want a theocracy, go live in one.

  102. CamilleR says:

    @probablyawkward: “Do women find this sort of thing hot? I’ve always wondered.”

    Yes, some of us do find this sort of thing hot. I’m too old to shop at A&F (not to mention the loud music gives me a headache), but I always enjoying looking at their posters when I go by one.

    I agree that it looks like the kids in this picture are on their way to go skinny dipping. It kind of makes me wonder if the folks in VA Beach would find Norman Rockwell’s “No Swiming” painting (and magazine cover) obscene. It features younger boys than this on a trip from skinny dipping and the center boy’s clearly carrying, not wearing his clothes.

  103. nardo218 says:

    @man-or-llama: Really. No one buys Victoria’s Secret over age 21.

  104. Angiol says:

    Charges have been dropped, by the way. Apparently the deputy city attorney said it’d be too hard to prove the display would “appeal to prurient interests, have no redeeming artistic merit and be offensive to the prevailing standards in the community,” which is required in order for the ad to be considered obscene.

  105. savdavid says:

    WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!! LOL!! Half naked people are evil, I tells ya, Eeeeeevil!!!!

  106. Trai_Dep says:

    Next on the VA Beach council’s To Do list:

    * Cross out all the “naughty” words in the dictionary.

    * Apply “fig leaf” tape on all Renaissance paintings prints

    * Remove “offensive” characters and situations from The Bible

    * Roam local beaches and forcibly dress any shirtless males found there

  107. Galls says:

    Culture is merely the average of smaller cultures.

    Government is designed to represent the needs of the culture is represents.

    A local government represents a local culture. If a culture deems such images reprehensible then they have every right to disallow it.

    I am appalled at the ignorance towards cultural relativism in these comments. It truly appears that those crying ignorant are truly the ignorant ones themselves, believing their values must be universal because their culture is for lack of a better word, god, meaning infallible.

    Personally I think the over objectification and promotion of sexual promiscuity of our youth is extremely problematic leading to a more hedonistic society. And historically the over emphasis of the individual compared to the needs of society at large has always lead to the demise of that culture. Because such hyper individualism means there is no culture to be had.

    A&F encouraging teenagers to be sluts is of course not the ultimate cause of the collapse of society, but it certainly is not helping.

    Once again I just have to repeat the amazing amount of ignorance that those who have a god complex have shown over this. Who are you to interfere with the doings of another culture? Especially when they in no way personally harm that of your own.

  108. Buran says:

    @teapartys_over: Isn’t that why you file a lawsuit first to have the rules clarified, instead of thinking you’re the one who makes those decisions? Good way to find yourself in expensive trouble.

  109. rg says:

    So…why is this indecent when it’s perfectly okay (for some reason) to show completely naked children on TV? (diaper ads, baby food, etc) If the images shown on TV were found on someone’s computer it would be child pornography. It’s time we start getting that trash off the air!

  110. spinachdip says:

    @rg: Because reasonable people are smart enough to understand that not all nudity is pornographic (or even erotic or sensual).

    The A&F poster probably doesn’t fall under most people’s definition of smut, but it’s not meant to be innocuous either. It’s clearly meant to suggest some level of sexuality (I mean, A&F has always been about sexy, if not outright sexuality).

    Yeah, you can argue all you want about the line where “suggestive” becomes “obscene”, but to compare seminude photos of young, nubile men and women to a baby in a diaper is the height of dumbfuckery.

  111. thalia says:

    But it’s okay to see cleavage on chicks? Why not a little male butt cleavage (I mean, come on, that IS a pretty nice arse!)

  112. grapeshine says:

    I once worked in a retail music store that prominently displayed a poster of the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind (yes, there is a penis in the picture). The poster was on the wall for years. Thousands upon thousands of customers saw the poster and didn’t say a word. One day, a customer stopped me and said, “that’s child porn — you have to take it down”. Really, the only appropriate response was my pithy reply: “Lady, you’re crazy”.

  113. Jesse in Japan says:

    Abercrombie and Fitch: where children go to buy clothes designed to appeal to pedophiles.

  114. dirk1965 says:

    @friendlynerd: gay-hate motivated??? How the hell did you derive that???

  115. dirk1965 says:

    Is outlawing ‘plumbers crack’ next???

  116. RvLeshrac says:

    @Galls:

    If you don’t like it, don’t shop there.

    You have absolutely no right to tell someone else what they should or should not find offensive. If it offends you, there are plenty of ways to not see it.

    This is just a bunch of religious nutjobs again attempting to force their views on the rest of us.

  117. waxigloo says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    Along the lines of your previous comment: (“You have absolutely no right to tell someone else what they should or should not find offensive”) — you have absolutely no right to tell them they need to leave the country for having a different interpretation of the first amendment than you.

    Your second statement is just as asinine — to suggest that the singular topic that the 1st amendment does not apply to is the first amendment itself?

    Though I disagree with them as well, I welcome their contributions to the discussion. Part of living in a country with freedom of speech is that the people you disagree with also have that freedom. Live with it.

  118. RvLeshrac says:

    @waxigloo:

    My wording wasn’t quite strong enough, on reflection.

    They certainly have a right to say whether or not they find it offenseive. They do not, however, have any right to tell *you* what *you* will and will not find offensive. Disagreeing on your opinion is one thing, but ordering someone to think like you (as these people are seen to do) is something else entirely.

    I have nothing wrong with them finding it offensive. They can picket the store. I don’t care. They do not, however, have any right to force the store to stop displaying the poster. If they don’t want to see it, they should stop looking at it.

    To sum it up, “we’re” not forcing them to look at it, but they want to force “us” to take the poster down.

  119. RvLeshrac says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    “There is nothing wrong” etc etc.

  120. RvLeshrac says:

    @waxigloo:

    Oh, and… err… the First Amendment of the constitution is the very *core* of this country. It is the one principle that stands above all else. The only (*only*) way you’re “against us” is if you disagree with the basic rights of speech and expression.

    The rest of the constitution is malleable. The First Amendment, however, is chiseled in steel, from the “T” to the “.”, and was written in language that cannot be misinterpreted.

  121. god, butt cleavage is the new black